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  • Riverside Educational Article of the Month - Skunk prevention tips

Skunk prevention tips

Riverside Skunk prevention tips

Skunks are well known for that horrible smell. The odor and the way it is delivered is a clear message to whatever the California skunk is sprayed that they should leave that skunk alone. The most dangerous thing about the skunks spray is that if it gets in your eyes it will cause intense discomfort, the most likely victim of being sprayed in the eyes is one of your pets, if it gets sprayed in the eyes taken to a vet immediately. The skunks spray has a range of about 10 feet maximum.

Skunks are generally considered a very gentle species, the only time they will spray is when that cornered and have no way out. Even then they tend to give a whole bunch of warnings before they spray, they stamp their front feet, they hiss, they raise their tail, and some will even give short charges but when they turn around and raise that tail is time to retreat unless you have some way to defeat that smell. Most people actually consider Riverside skunks to be helpful animals around their houses because they eat a lot of pests, insects and small mammals like mice.

That said skunks are not without their problems. Here are some of the most common signs you have skunks in residence:
• holes in your lawn, small and cone shaped, up to 4 inches in diameter
• Riverside skunk tracks, five toed tracks with visible claws on each toe
• if you have poultry, California skunks love to raid poultry houses.
• Skunk odor
• if you have a vegetable garden then skunks will steal anything they can reach usually damaging the plant in the process.

The other main drawback to having Riverside skunks around is that they can carry contagious diseases, a few nasty viruses and of course the usual array of parasites. Skunks are rabies carriers, in 2014 there was 1400 confirmed cases of rabies carrying skunks. They also carry a few diseases which mainly transfer to dogs, like, canine distemper, canine hepatitis and leptospirosis which can also be transferred to humans causing headaches, muscle pains and fever. The most dangerous parasite that skunks seem to spread is intestinal roundworm.

To prevent and deter a skunk from making your house its home do the following, remove all food sources, seal up and make sure your garbage receptacles are skunk proof, close off all access to hiding places or places a skunk might choose to live. The most effective deterrent for skunks actually seems to be motion activated lights, if they are foraging at night which is normal a sudden bright light coming on generally frightens them off.

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